What is stress, and why should we treat it?

Stress is at the base of many health conditions. 

To support a healthy body and your well-being, we approach stress management in any consultation in Paz By Nature Clinic. 

Stress relates to various health problems, such as anxiety, sleep problems, headaches, and more. 

We offer specific advice about these topics at the Paz By Nature clinic. 

Stress is a common issue.

A 2018 UK-wide stress survey has found that almost three-quarters of adults (74%) have at some point over the past year felt so stressed they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.[1] 

What is stress?

Each of us has an internal self-defence system, commonly known as the fight-or-flight response.

The system works like this: our body response is supposed to kick in when you encounter an immediate physical threat and turn off when the danger passes. [2]

When your body feels in danger, it triggers a stress response that starts in the brain’s hypothalamus gland. 

That, in turn, sends signals to the adrenals (two kidney-shaped glands that sit on top of the kidneys) to release stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline. 

These cause a rise in blood pressure and give your body a hit of glucose so you can outrun or fight the immediate danger. 

However, if the stress occurs during an extended period, the body is in constant fight-or-flight mode, leading to health problems.

Give me some examples of stress triggers? [3]

  • being under a lot of pressure regularly (work, things to do, recurrent thoughts)
  • big changes
  • worryings
  • not having much or any control over the outcome of a situation
  • having responsibilities that you’re finding overwhelming
  • not having enough work, projects or changes in your life
  • times of uncertainty

How the body reacts to prolonged stress?

Prolonged stress sets your body in a continuous state of readiness for action. 

When the body has no time to regain balance, we become exhausted, and the immune system weakens and is more susceptible to sickness. 

Many fundamental bodily processes disrupted, and your risk of health problems increases.

Some common stress effects on the body include:

  • memory impairment
  • depression
  • skin conditions, such as eczema
  • difficulty sleeping
  • obesity
  • heart disease
  • digestive problems
  • autoimmune diseases
  • poor digestion

If you’re suffering from stress, whether by your job or something more personal, the first step to feeling better is identifying the cause.

How to shift to relaxation?

Mindfulness, breathing and stretching techniques could offer potential improvement. [4]

A healthy diet and herbal medicine can help counter the impact of stress while supporting the immune system and lowering blood pressure.

With proper nutrition, you can feel better prepared to handle the challenges of the day.

References:


[1] “Stressed nation: 74% of UK ‘overwhelmed or unable to cope ….” 14 May. 2018, https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/news/stressed-nation-74-uk-overwhelmed-or-unable-cope-some-point-past-year

[2] “What Is Stress-Related Illness? – Healthline.” https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-stress-related-illness

[3] “Causes of stress | Mind, the mental health charity – help for ….” https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/stress/causes-of-stress/.

[4] Worthen M, Cash E. Stress Management. [Updated 2020 May 23]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513300/

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